Radio: The Life Story of a Technology (Greenwood Technographies Series) / Edition 1

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This book chronicles the history of radio as technology and as media. Radio grew from a clumsy, temperamental form of wireless telegraph to a system that is so ubiquitous and easy to use that it has disappeared to users as a technology and became part of the fabric of human existence. This biography charts the growth of the technical end of radio, starting with the history of electricity, and moving through the invention of vacuum tubes, the heterodyne, FM, transistors, and microchips. But the history of radio is not just wires and electricity—it's the story of strange characters, deep thinkers, visionary mystics, hyperactive minds, ambitious souls, power hungry demagogues, and utopian humanists; all of whom strove to make radio into what they thought it should be.

In addition, Radio: The Life Story of a Technology looks at the technology as a cultural phenomenon, including the corporate aspects and history of the business of radio. In the middle of the 20th century people saw that radio could be used as an agent of social change, both good and bad. The transition of radio from private corporate device to public news provider to entertainment box back to political tool is at the heart of this work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Radio was more than just a media delivery system: it was a new technology which changed and connected the lives of the world, moving from a clumsy wireless telegraph to a system which is so much a part of our lives that its roots have all but been forgotten. So as not to forget, Radio: The Life Story of a Technology considers both the scientific and social changes radio brought, considering it as a cultural phenomenon and providing a history of the business and social impact of radio. There have of course been other radio histories on the market - but none other with the attention to both social and economic impact."


MBR Bookwatch

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313331671
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Series: Greenwood Technographies
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,289,763
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

BRIAN REGAL teaches American history and the history of science and technology at the TCI College of Technology in New York--the school originally founded by Guglielmo Marconi in 1909. His previous publications include Henry Fairfield Osborn: Race and the Search for the Origins of Man (Ashgate, 2002) and Human Evolution: A Guide to the Debates (ABC-CLIO, 2004). His most recent article is "Maxwell Perkins Editor of Eugenics" in The Princeton University Library Chronicle (February, 2005).

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Table of Contents

1 The ancestry of radio 1
2 Radio is born 19
3 Plastic and transistors 43
4 Private to public 57
5 The cultural juggernaut 83
6 Haranguers, listeners, and Howard Stern 111
7 Conclusion : did video kill the radio star? 135
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